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Volunteerism in Alberta: 100 years of Celebrating Community
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Senior Volunteerism


Youth Volunteerism

Senior Volunteerism


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Cultural Diversity


Head to headJustifiably, some seniors are no longer in the position to volunteer or to donate to voluntary organizations, as indicated by the 2000 National Survey of Giving, Volunteering and Participating (NSGVP).

Giving and Volunteering in Seniors (PDF)

In order for volunteer and non-profit organizations to use their resources effectively and efficiently, it is important for them to understand the tendencies of their potential donors and volunteers. For example, this type of information might allow a non-profit organization to identify particular groups that are more likely to be donors, or to target under-represented demographics with new and innovative campaigns. The Giving and Volunteering of Seniors is a report assembled by the Canadian Centre for Philanthropy. As the title suggests, the report outlines the donation and volunteer habits of Canadians aged 65 and older. The information was gathered during the 1997 and 2000 National Surveys for Giving, Volunteering and Participating. To read the full report, please follow the link.

Although the survey indicates that senior volunteerism has dropped, the seniors who frequent the hundreds of senior centres throughout Alberta seem to belie this finding. One just has to read Calendar of Events advertised by senior centres, (often organized by senior volunteers) to understand that many of Alberta’s seniors are active people who travel; attend art galleries, concerts, and festivals; take and give courses and help fund raise and volunteer in events such as Alberta’s Birkenbeiner. Seniors also ski this longest cross-country race in North America, with the most difficult category involving skiing 55-km with a 12 pound pack.

Alberta organizations such as Seniors United Now (SUN) have very active senior volunteers. SUN’s mission is to unite every senior in Alberta under one umbrella organization so that the Seniors of Alberta may speak with one voice on the issues that matter to them. Senior volunteers can also be found in a number of non-profit organizations that do not necessarily focus on senior's issues. The 2000 NSGVP found that seniors tend to favour arts and culture, social services, and religious organizations when donating their time and talents.

In addition to active volunteering, seniors have made their mark with charitable donations. According to the NSGVP , seniors across Canada donated a total of $854 million to charitable organizations - specifically religious, health and social services organizations. This accounted for 17% of the total donations made in Canada that year.



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Volunteerism in Alberta: 100 years of Celebrating Community

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